Sea level rise has already begun to impact many aspects of our lives and the planet’s ecosystem. These impacts will only increase in the years to come as the water rises. Animals and their environment are at risk for potentially catastrophic loss from rising seas due to changes in water temperatures, increased carbon, and changes to or the loss of their habitat.
In Florida we have over 800 miles of incredible sandy beaches surrounding our state and while people often enjoy their time along the water’s edge with the sand in their toes, rising sea levels threaten many near shore animals that live or rely on beaches such sea turtles that use our (or do we use their?) beaches to nest.
The Turtle Hospital in Marathon Florida, here in the Florida Keys, is well known for their truly excellent work in saving sick and injured turtles that live in the waters along the Keys. As we think about the biological risks that our planet faces from sea level rise, I thought I’d share some pictures from a turtle release that my family attended recently and that The Turtle Hospital conducted at the amazing Bahia Honda State Park, just around the ‘corner’ from my home on No Name Key.
Sea turtles are just one example of the biological risks our planet faces from sea level rise. Sea levels are estimated to increase about two feet over the next few decades and as many as four to eight feet later this century.
Picture what your local beach might look like for you, much less the turtles that rely on it for nesting, with two to four to more feet of water covering it and you can get a real sense of the problem that’s about to impact us, all of us, including animals that can’t speak for themselves such as sea turtles.
To learn more about The Turtle Hospital click here to visit their website.